However, if you’re not meticulous, you could be losing money that’s rightfully yours — or forcing your long-awaited tax return to be delayed.
John McCarthy, a certified public accountant and president of McCarthy Tax Preparation, which provides tax preparation and bookkeeping services to people and small businesses, commonly sees clients mess up their taxes through a small, but avoidable, mistake.
“The number one mistake that I see is proofreading errors,” McCarthy told Business Insider. “The IRS verifies your tax return against information they receive from employers, banks, and the Social Security Administration. It pays to spend a few extra minutes proofreading and comparing your tax documents to your return.”
Aim to file your taxes well before April 15, so you have time to go over everything with a fine-toothed comb, from ensuring you didn’t neglect an important form to double checking all your arithmetic.
Here’s a helpful guide for troubleshooting common proofreading errors that befall hastily done taxes.
And if thoroughly proofreading all of your paperwork sounds tedious, just remember McCarthy’s wise words: “Nothing holds up your tax refund faster than an incorrect Social Security number.”